“Firstly Drift Stumble Fall is so very gripping, and has been written with so much emotion, that I found myself compelled to read on! I really felt for both Richard and Bill, and what they were both going through; which I think in today’s world people will be able to relate to in some way or another. I think this story brings to the for front that one can never assume what anyone is going on in other people’s life’s, because things are not always what you see. Both of these men seem to have depression, and I think the author has written this really well, with feeling and raw emotion which I as the reader really felt while reading.
This book was truly and utterly un-put dawn able, and I really think this book is going to do very well. I just can’t believe I’ve never discovered M Jonathan Lee writing before now, it’s exceptional!!!! I will defiantly be reading more of his work in the future for sure. I highly recommend Drift Stumble Fall, of what was a gripping read that is so relatable.”
“It’s a hard book to review – I must admit to similar feelings of craving time alone from the busy life of work and home so I get where he is coming from (but thankfully have never felt the urge just to pack it all in).
M Jonathan Lee has himself suffered from anxiety and depression and he draws on these experiences in this book. Unfortunately, it left me feeling a bit depressed. But I did enjoy the writing and would definitely be interested to see what else this author writes/has written.”
“Drift Stumble Fall is not a fast paced novel. It’s written about the mundane tasks, the restlessness, the theory that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. In a lot of ways it’s actually very bleak. However, at no point did I ever want to put the book down. I NEEDED to know how his escape was going to pan out, and with every turn of the page I found myself becoming more and more involved in Richard’s life. A few tears were even shed.
Ultimately, this is one of those rare books that makes you question your entire existence. From the moment we leave the womb, society tells us to aspire to finding a great job, to marry someone you think you could put with for the next fifty years and soon after, to become a parent. But what about those of us who feel suffocated by the norm? This one’s for you.”
“This is such a beautifully heartbreaking story, completely captivating and sadly relatable. It’s a true showing of how we think the grass is always greener on the other side and the reality that we never truly know what goes on in people’s lives behind closed doors.
Someones life may look idyllic, perfect even.. so much so you would want to swap places with them, all the while they’re looking back at you and thinking they’d rather have your perfect looking life.
Thank you to Hideaway Fall for sending me a copy of Drift Stumble Fall by M. Jonathan Lee to review, it really took me by surprise I wasn’t sure what to expect but I loved it and it’s definitely a book I will read again and recommend.”
“Drift Stumble Fall is a deceptively gentle book, with its piercing insights about the secrets that people hold inside, the words unsaid, the fears they can’t express aloud, and the loneliness that can exist even when surrounded by a family. It’s an often devastating portrait of an ordinary man struggling with the everyday, yet is written with a sense of humour which means it never feels hard-going and with a sense of tension that builds gradually as we wait to see if Richard really will leave. With a truly affecting conclusion, Drift Stumble Fall is a touching and realistic portrayal of a man who feels he isn’t enough and as such is an important and sensitive look at the vitally important topic of male mental health. I highly recommend it and am very much looking forward to reading more of M. Jonathan Lee’s books in the future.”
“This plot was utterly captivating. Lee’s writing style captures the raw depth and emotion in each character, creating characters that come alive on the pages.
This book was so much more than a story. It was a moment to reflect on yourself and the people around you. To put things into perspective. To think. I loved it.
I would recommend this to bookworms that love to really get to know their main character and explore their inner thoughts.”
“I was a massive fan of A Tiny Feeling of Fear and Broken Branches, so I was super-excited and privileged to receive an advance copy of M. Jonathan Lee’s latest novel, Drift Stumble Fall. From the first page it ‘feels’ like a Lee novel – he knows how to hook you in from the start and paints the picture so effectively with fairly simple but detailed descriptions. Big on characterisation and well-observed scenes of the everyday life of a parent, Drift Stumble Fall is a slow-burner, but as with all of Lee’s books, there is a dark side to the story. Here, it’s the fact that the central character is seriously contemplating walking out on his family and just disappearing to start a new life somewhere. As a father to two young kids myself, I found this a little shocking, but I was fascinated to find out how the story would pan out.”
“The writing is good and it drew me in. The story is told almost in diary form and we get almost minute details of a week in family life, the dull moments, the almost farcical moments that every life has, and everything in between. The author has portrayed very realistic and believable relationships between the characters, all the little details in the interactions between them are spot on.”
“Another excellent novel from M.Jonathan Lee. I highly recommend this book.
I was drawn into this book from the very first page, I wanted to devour it and know who was who and what was going to happen, there and then.
This story is really well thought out, I especially thought the gloomy, snowy weather helped to set the ambience for the story, if it had been warm and sunny, I feel it wouldn’t have worked !
I also felt it was really clever how Richard referred to his mental state of mind in the beginning as a pendulum.
I suffer from anxiety so I could really relate to parts and references from this story, I especially liked this reference that Richard made – “A broken leg is always better than a migraine. The visual helps the story.” This is so true when it comes down to mental health issues.
I think because I could relate to Richard at times, it made me like him even though because of the storyline I should have disliked him as a mother of 2.
This story will make you appreciate what you have and realise that not everything is always as it seems.”
“I loved how the author created this world with very little action, but it’s the observations that the characters make that resonate with you as a reader. It’s the assumptions we all jump to about others which make the truth even more devastating when it is revealed and I did find myself shedding a tear or two whilst the lives of these two men played out on the pages. My heart was a little bit broken by the end!!”
“There’s something quite ethereal about the way M. Jonathan Lee writes. I have read two of his books now. You sit with one of his books, never knowing what is going to happen in between the pages. In part I think this is because its synopsis never seem to fully encompass the depth of which Lee goes into relationships, the family unit, and mental illness. He writes very well. In many ways his books make me think of Tony Parsons or Nick Hornby, in the charming banality of life, whether that be Sunday lunch with the in laws, or the way children mispronounce words.
If you like a book with pace Drift Stumble Fall isn’t for you. This book will make you tear out your hair.
Lee builds up a picture, with intrinsic details, and then shuts that down with a devastating finish. The picture he creates, with the nuances of human behavior, is the kind of thing that fascinates me.
The ending of Drift Stumble Fall is class. Especially in these times of social media I think many of us draw comparisons from those around us, and Lee’s end to Drift Stumble Fall reminds us that we should not always presume the grass is greener on the other side.”
“One thing I actually really liked about this book was that most of the plot was emotional. If you look at events that actually happened, there really weren’t much as the story was limited to a domestic setting. But since this book focused so much on the mental issues that Richard was going through, that was where most of the action happened.
Even though we were in Richard’s mind, however, I really wish that there was more background to his character. I liked the development that took place during the story, but I don’t think I was ever satisfied with the amount of backstory that we got for him. He kept saying that his life wasn’t the one he “chose,” but I never really found out how he ended up in it, which is why I felt it difficult to connect to his situation.
On the other hand, I really liked the amount of background that we got for Bill’s storyline. Although the focus was less on him, the author was really able to pack a punch in the few chapters that centered around him, and I really wanted to know more.
The writing style was still great, and I love what the author sometimes does experimentally, such as changing up the page format, or making the word “disappear” actually disappear letter by letter. These were sparse, however, and I’d love to see more of these out-of-the-box moments.
Overall, I’d recommend this book to readers of contemporary, family, or mental illness novels. And man, this book really made me wish that I lived somewhere that snowed.”
“Drift Stumble Fall is the second book I’ve read by M. Jonathan Lee, the first being Broken Branches, and his writing continues to impress me. Compelling and poignant, I enjoyed reading Drift Stumble Fall and would recommend it to anyone who prefers character driven novels.”
“Drift Stumble Fall is a convincing portrait of a man struggling with the responsibilities of daily life, something I’m sure most of us can identify with from time to time unless we have been incredibly lucky. However, I found the story of Bill and Rosie the most compelling element of the book – a heartbreaking, moving and thought-provoking reminder that the grass may not be greener (in fact, it probably isn’t) on the other side of the fence.”
“A cursory glance at neighbours Richard and Bill would appear to show their envy for one another’s lives, in an almost ‘the grass is greener’ type of way. But those first impressions can be deceptive. Separated by a generation, and a mere strip of tarmac, their properties directly face each other. The exteriors successfully conceal the ghosts of happier times, but for wholly different reasons. Each man acknowledges the presence of the other with an impassive hand raise from behind the protection of their respective double-glazing while contemplating one other’s contentment. Yet it’s one of those unfortunate occasions when the old phrase ‘not waving, but drowning’ truly applies.
The neighbours’ survival strategies and private reflections are so intimately tailored I felt as though I had trespassed into their most guarded trials, especially when their isolated journeys crossed in a profound and affective way. A story narrated with a quiet composure, yet it has an incredibly powerful voice.”
“Intriguing and thought provoking novel Broken Branches by M. Jonathan Lee. A novel that delves deeply into the life of one character; is he seeing things quite as others do? A book you’ll be thinking and talking about long after you finish it. See all my reviews on EmmabBooks.com.”
“After reading Broken Branches I was obsessed with M.Jonathan Lee’s writing style. He has an evident talent with imagery. I’m was not surprised that this book was utterly brilliant.( I was however pleasantly surprised with how fitting it was for the current weather, as my entire local area is being beaten to death by storm Emma) Definitely a cosy read with a dark moral. I love it when stories with a moral are interesting and intriguing without being ultimately cheesy and cliche. Can’t wait to see what story he shares with us next.”
“Realistic and raw, Drift Stumble Fall is like a trap within a trap. It’s one of those books that take life and mirror it back to the reader in its truest form and you can’t help but feel how your heart feels heavy with it all.
I have to admit- this title was not the easiest of reads, not at all. It was challenging and sad and yet, I couldn’t stop. Drift Stumble Fall is bittersweet throughout. It left me with a lot to mull over. But it also showed and proved to me that life is an act of balance, always, no matter how unfair or cruel it may seem. There are bad moments that sometimes feel enough for anyone to want to give up but there are also those moments which we study and file away in our heads as something entirely good and pure. We drift, stumble and fall in between these bad and good moments… The trick is always to ride out the bad as best we can and embrace the good as they come.. because the good will always come!
Most importantly, as Drift Stumble Fall took me down memory lane to my childhood, it left me feeling grateful of my parents and appreciative that while dealing with my child-self they had bigger problems to tackle at the same time. They must have been exhausted as well, so damn exhausted, and I am so happy we made it through all of these years of quite a few hardships with our family intact.”
“I did enjoy this book it grabs your imagination from the very first page which is why it only took me a couple of days to finish. The book is set out in a day to day diary style and you get the day to day account of Richards every day life.
I would defiantly recommend this book to everyone and anyone its one book that defiantly needs to be put on your to be read piles and should be the next one to read i guarantee that you wont be disappointed this is defiantly a 5 star book and i can not for one wait for M.Jonathan’s next book to come out i think he is going to be one of my favourite authors out there.”
“Poignant, emotive and thought provoking, all words that came into my head as I was reading “drift stumble fall” by M.Jonathan Lee. I loved it from start to finish and found it a really entertaining and enjoyable read. I loved “Broken Branches” last year and knew I would be enjoying this book too, the author has a beautiful writing style that truly captivates the reader and he has fabulously captured a typical real life scenario and turned it into a brilliant and thought provoking story. Highly recommend!”
“I first stumbled across M Jonathan Lee when I read Broken Branches last year. I loved it, and couldn’t wait to read further work by this author. I was so excited to read Drift Stumble Fall, hoping that it would live up to my expectations, and my goodness, so it dId. This is a remarkable book thst explores and opens up a wide range of emotions. A gentle book that explores what it is to be human, and to live for every day.Drift Stumble Fall is a gentle book that packs a punch. I was lulled into its steady beat of daily life, but when the ending came, with all of its revelations, it left me reeling.
This is a book about the human condition, about the sense of family, but that sometimes, even when surrounded by family, you can feel very much alone. It’s a thought provoking read.”
“I was quickly drawn into this story, which was told almost in a diary format, with events taking place over a number of days leading up to Christmas. And over these days we learn more about Richard and his daily life, the mundane tasks and the little interactions with his family. We see Richard struggling to come to terms with his own emotions, the aspects of life that are pushing him away along with those that are drawing him back. His situation is further complicated by the presence of his in-laws, as the harsh winter weather results in the family spending more time together, more time for Richard to contemplate his predicament. I found this story to be well written, and there were aspects to the story that I found relatable. The subject matter is very moving, as we discover the layers of secrets, and long concealed suffering. There is definitely an element of ‘the grass isn’t always greener’ in this novel, as it explores how different people long for different things, and how ultimately we must treasure what we do have in life, and the people we hold dear.
Drift Stumble Fall was an enjoyable read which explores some interesting themes surrounding family relationships, love and loss and moving forward. A thought provoking read which had me gripped and left me with plenty to ponder over.”